Artificial intelligence is the beating heart that brings modern robotics to life. Artificial intelligence is allowing the field of robotics to progress faster and faster. It seems every day we push the boundaries of what we believe is possible, just a little further, discovering new ways to use robotics that are only made possible thanks to the advent of artificial intelligence.
How AI Is Used in Robotics
During the Industrial Revolution, assembly production came about when factories began using division of labor to increase productivity. Now, artificial intelligence is once again revolutionizing the assembly process. Artificial intelligence can fix mistakes that may happen in the assembly process before they interfere with the following stages of production. Artificial Intelligence also learns as it operates, allowing it to pinpoint redundancies in the production process and discover new, more efficient production methods.
Packaging is, by its nature, a very mechanical process. In an assembly line, products have to be packaged in a consistent, uniform way. AI-powered machines can maintain this consistently better than human assembly line workers can. What's more, AI will learn over time, finding newer, better, and more efficient ways to package items.
While they may not be considered robots in the most traditional sense, artificial intelligence-powered chatbots are being used by many businesses to automate the customer service experience. These chatbots can solve customer's complaints much faster than the average person, and since they learn over time, the customer service experience will only get better as time goes by.
Open-source Robotics are robotic systems that allow others to use their software and hardware to create new devices capable of unique, innovative functions. Open-source robotics is a wide sandbox for coders, developers, and engineers to play in. When AI is thrown into the mix, it provides boundless opportunities for robotics manufactures. Thanks to the convergence of open-source robots and AI, machines can take in information and learn new skills in unprecedented ways.
Recent Examples of how AI is improving Robotic Technology
New Discoveries in Animal Physiology
They say cats always land on their feet. Well, why? These are the kinds of questions that researchers from Osaka University are trying to answer, and they're doing it using AI-powered robotics. The researchers created an AI-powered robotic cat for their experiment and used it to prove their hypothesis that cats must possess previously undiscovered reflex circuits. The study also exposes the potential role AI robotics could play in the field of physiotherapy.
A Swarm of Artists
Another recent experiment from Georgia University had a swarm of AI-powered robots working together to produce art, controlled by a painter guiding them on what to do. Now that we know a single person can operate an entire swarm of miniature robots to paint a picture, it opens up so many more possibilities; such robots could even be used to deliver information or medicine; the future is truly unprecedented.
Machines & Morality
Had you asked the father of theoretical computer science if robots could be taught to understand human morality, the late Alan Turing would have probably laughed in your face, but what if it really can be accomplished? Scientists at the Darmstadt University of Technology are trying to go where no robot has gone before. The purpose of the experiment isn't just to see if a robot can grow a moral compass; it's to unravel the fundamental nature of our own mortality and expose why we think and act the way we do.
The Future of AI & Robotics
"War, war never changes." You may be familiar with this quote, but how true is it? The fact of the matter is AI-powered robotic soldiers will change how countries wage war on each other forever. Science fiction has been warning us for years that one day this day will come, and now we're moving closer and closer to robot armies becoming a reality.
The use of AI-powered robots on the battlefield is a highly controversial topic. On the one hand, it would significantly decrease the number of human casualties incurred in combat. On the other hand, critics argue that introducing robots into military zones would remove the element of empathy from war and make killing that much easier.
Robots In Medicine
AI-powered robotics are already being used in the medical industry in surgeries, data collection, and diagnostics. Could AI and Robotics soon replace human intervention in the medical sector altogether? Experts say it's highly unlikely. The medical industry will always rely on the human intervention; humans can ensure general processes are carried out with accuracy, and a machine, no matter how powerful, can not replicate the inter-personal relationship that is often formed between doctors and patients. That said, experts say that AI-powered robotics will certainly continue to innovate within the industry, improving workflows, making diagnostics more accurate, and generally making doctors and other medical workers more efficient.
Robots In The Class Room
The introduction of smart technologies in education has already proven vastly successful, allowing children to experience dynamic, interactive, and personalized learning that benefits most students far more than the traditional classroom setting.
While AI-powered robots probably won't replace human teachers any time soon, such modern technology is already making these teachers' jobs easier to do, allowing them to focus on individual children and point out their unique shortcomings so that they can be addressed in the most effective manner possible.
The future of artificial intelligence and robotics is looking bright, but even then, it's hard to say just where we'll go from here. Robotics has been a hot-button topic within the technology industry for decades, and AI is finally allowing us to take robotics in all the directions we've imagined for years now.
When faced with the potential of innovation and a second industrial revolution powered by AI, there are still those critical of the technology. Will our worst fears about AI and robotics come to life? Could machines actually rise and enslave us all? Probably not. One thing is for certain though; the world will never be the same again.
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